Skip to main content

   The Museum Store will be closed for a refresh from Saturday, February 29 through Sunday, March 8, 2020. Credit card sales only February 25–28. Shop online anytime at  

Agnew on Tightrope

Agnew on Tightrope
Usage Conditions Apply
Jack Davis, 2 Dec 1924 - 27 Jul 2016
Spiro Theodore Agnew, 9 Nov 1918 - 17 Sep 1996
Carl Bert Albert, 10 May 1908 - 4 Feb 2000
George Brooke Beall, born 1926
Richard Milhous Nixon, 9 Jan 1913 - 22 Apr 1994
Watercolor, gouache, graphite pencil, and cut paper on paperboard
73.6 x 61cm (29 x 24")
Mat: 91.4 x 66cm (36 x 26")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Jack Davis
Object number
Exhibition Label
On October 9, 1973, Spiro Agnew, facing bribery and tax evasion charges, resigned the vice presidency. Although Nixon first wanted to nominate John Connally (who had switched parties to be his secretary of the treasury) to replace Agnew, the president knew that it would require a lengthy confirmation battle in Congress. Nixon and Gerald Ford had been good friends since they both entered Congress. A well-respected, hard-working congressman, Ford was loyal to Nixon, and most important, he would be quickly confirmed.
This cartoon shows Agnew walking on a tightrope, with Nixon, who was no longer supporting his vice president, on one side and George Brooke Beall, who was investigating Agnew, on the other side. Speaker of the House Carl Albert, who denied Agnew's request for a trial in the House of Representatives, is holding up the Constitution.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Usage conditions apply